Trump threatens human rights in over 100 ways, says Amnesty

“It didn’t take long to identify 100 ways this administration has tried to violate people’s human rights.”

President Donald Trump, accompanied by his daughter Ivanka Trump, talks via video conference with International Space Station Commander Peggy Whitson on the International Space Station, April 24, 2017, from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. CREDIT: AP Photo/Susan Walsh
President Donald Trump, accompanied by his daughter Ivanka Trump, talks via video conference with International Space Station Commander Peggy Whitson on the International Space Station, April 24, 2017, from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. CREDIT: AP Photo/Susan Walsh

A new report by human rights organization Amnesty International found that President Donald Trump has, in fewer than 100 days in office, threatened human rights in at least 100 different ways.

The Amnesty report includes a range of threats to human rights both inside the United States and in the rest of the world. It found 35 potential human rights violations in Trump’s immigration policies alone, including in the ban on U.S. refugee resettlement, the proposed border wall, demonization of refugees as criminals, suspension of the Central American Minors program, detention of asylum-seekers, threats to separate families at the border, and the increased power handed to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

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Trump’s immigration orders and 2017 and 2018 fiscal year budget proposals “lay the groundwork for an explosion of immigration detention” and could trap 80,000 people in immigration detention, estimates Amnesty.

Foreign policy threats to human rights that Amnesty identifies include downplaying reports of hate-based harassment and violence, emboldening and arming human rights abusers in other countries, giving the U.S. military “total authorization” to do whatever it wants, leading coalition airstrikes that have killed an astonishing number of civilians, cutting U.S. funding for the United Nations, and supporting torture.

“These first 100 days show how dangerous Trump’s agenda is, and they’re also a roadmap for how to stop it and protect human rights in the U.S. and around the world,” Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA, said in a statement. “When we sat down to document the first 100 days, it didn’t take long to identify 100 ways this administration has tried to violate people’s human rights. What’s incredible isn’t just all the ways the Trump administration has tried to deny people freedom, justice, and equality — but all the ways that the public has pushed back and refused to let it happen.”

The report also identifies threats to criminal justice, the LGBTQ community, indigenous people, reproductive rights, and free speech, as well as “a cabinet full of human rights threats”: Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Environmental Protection Agency Director Scott Pruitt, and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

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“Whether it’s closing our borders, turning our backs on refugees, trying to ban Muslims from the U.S., or emboldening human rights abusers worldwide, President Trump seems intent on stoking the fires of conflict outside U.S. borders while closing the door to those fleeing violence,” Huang said.

The Amnesty report serves as a stark warning to not normalize the real threats posed by Trump’s presidency. Many lawmakers, as well as those in the mainstream media, have normalized Trump’s actions at every turn, including his selection of white nationalist Steve Bannon as his chief strategist, his authorization of a deadly raid in Yemen one week into his presidency, his so-called “presidential” call for white nationalist policies in his first speech to Congress, his executive order banning refugees and nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries, and his U.S. airstrike on a Syrian airbase last month. There are many, many other examples of normalization of Trump’s policies and rhetoric.

Still, the Amnesty report offers some hope for the resistance.

“This briefing is not exhaustive and the Trump administration’s ongoing threats to human rights remain — but so does the resolve to defeat them,” the report concludes. “While the Trump’s first 100 days in office show how dangerous his agenda is for human rights in the U.S. and around the world, it is equally clear that activism, grassroots organizing and political opposition can make a difference.”